Sexual Assault Kit Collection in the Emergency Department
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Session B presented Thursday, September 14, 2017
Purpose: Traditionally emergency department nurses have received little to no training on collection of forensic evidence and care of the victim of sexual assault. While it is best practice for SANE (sexual assault nurse examiners) to facilitate care for this patient populaion in the emergency department setting, many communities lack these expert nurses. In these communities the responsibility of evidence collection and care of a sexual assault victim falls on the emergency department nurse. Historically care given by nurses without specialty training has left victims of sexual assault feeling re-victimized.
Design: As a performance improvement initiative, a simple one hour educational course was developed by an experienced SANE nurse on the fundamentals of trauma based care of the sexual assault victim and forensic evidence collection.
Setting: Urban Level 1 Trauma Center approximately 110,000 visits annually.
Participants/Subjects: All emergency department registered nurses were required to attend this educational course as part of their yearly competency. This was more than 300 nurses in all.
Methods: Hands on training with the North Carolina State Sexual Assault Kit. Powerpoint presentation on best practices. Case scenarios with peer participation. Surveys of nurse's perceived benefits after completion of this course.
Results/Outcomes: Survey results concluded that all nurses perceived benefits to being educated on the fundamentals of forensic evidence collection. Performance improvement quantitative measures for patient satisfaction still pending.
Implications: Recommend standardization of education on the foundations of trauma based care for victims of sexual assault and forensic evidence collection.